Thursday, June 30, 2016

"Glory and Goodness"

"Glory and Goodness"

    For all its shame, ugliness, pain, and horror, the suffering and death of the Lord Jesus Christ on the cross of Calvary constitutes perhaps the greatest display of the glory of God that will ever occur.

   "These words spake Jesus, and lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said, Father, the hour is come; glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee" (John 17:1).

   To understand the nature and extent of this mutual glorification for which the Lord Jesus prayed just before He went to the cross, we must understand the Biblical definition of the word glory.  Scripture provides the most basic meaning in its Exodus account of Moses seeking to know God.

    "And Moses said, I beseech Thee, show me Thy glory. And He said, I will make all My goodness pass before Thee, and I will proclaim the name of the LORD before thee; and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy" (Exodus 33:18-19).

    Moses asks to see the glory of God.  God responds affirmatively, "I will make all My goodness pass before thee".  Nowhere else in Scripture do we find so direct an elucidation of our Lord's glory.  His glory, in essence, is His goodness.  It is who He is.  Moreover, the Lord proceeds to illustrate the definition by referencing His graciousness and mercy.  We might expect this because of all the Divine qualities declared by the Bible, none more vividly portray goodness than God's willingness to graciously give to those who do not deserve His generosity, and to mercifully forgive those who rebel against Him.  "When we were yet without strength, in due time Christ died for the ungodly. For scarcely for a righteous man will one die: yet peradventure for a good man some would even dare to die.  But God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us" (Romans 5:6-8).

     In this most holy light, consider again the Lord's prayer for mutual glorification of He and His Father, and the cross to which His request led.  Certainly grace and mercy flowed from the wounds of our Savior, and certainly they brightly shined with the wondrous display of a Being unlike any other.  Indeed, when we affirm that God is good, w mean many things.  More than anything else, however, we mean that our Lord so loves us that He gave His Son to the most horrible death for the benefit of those responsible for the sorrow, pain, and forsakenness of Calvary.  Again, nothing compares or ever will compare with this revelation of God's glory, or, the revelation of His goodness.  Yes, on the cross, in time and space history of a fallen creation, God answered the prayer of His Son to unveil the wonder of the Divine character, nature, and way.  The good and glorious Holy Spirit then inspired the revelation to be provided in the pages of the Gospels so that trusting human hearts might personally receive the grace and mercy of "so great salvation" given freely by so good a Father and Son (Hebrews 2:3).

    We will never fully plumb the depths of the goodness of God.  Eternity will not allow enough opportunity to exhaust our discovery of His glory.  This should thrill our souls, and it does whenever we still our hearts long enough to ponder the wonder.  God's glory is His goodness.  Calvary revealed this blessed truth, and also what the Lord meant when He responded to Moses' request, "Show me Thy glory".  We do well to ask the same, and to expect ever increasing realization of goodness.

"Forever's Journey

There is no end to the quest we know, 
forever beckons on.
For our spirits soar in skies so blue,
above all clouds of storm.

Yes, we fly into the heart of God
as in His Son we trust.
And earth will soon be nothing more
than long forgotten dust.

So spread your wings and catch the wind,
o journeyman of hope,
and race toward horizons blessed
with those who also know

That the quest of hearts is Jesus,
He is our shining sun.
It matters not how far we've come,
the journey's just begun.

"Now unto the King eternal, immortal, invisible, the only wise God, be honor and glory forever and ever. Amen."
(I Timothy 1:17) 

Weekly Memory Verse
   "The hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth: for the Father seeketh such to worship Him.  God is a Spirit: and they that worship Him must worship Him in spirit and in truth." 
(John 4:23-24)

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